Sanna Marin: We’re laying the groundwork for Finland travel restrictions

Travel in and out of Uusimaa could be suspended, and the Government is also considering whether to close bars and restaurants to fight the spread of the virus.

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File picture of PM Sanna Marin (SDP) at coronavirus press conference, Helsinki, 20th March 2020 / Credit: Laura Kotila, VNK

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) says the government is preparing to order restrictions on movement around the country, and to close private businesses such as restaurants, in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Writing on Twitter on Monday, Marin says there are a number of new options at the Government’s disposal.

“The Government is ready to take all necessary measures to contain the epidemic, ensure the capacity to cope of our healthcare system, and protect those at risk” she says.

The PM noted that the legislation will take a couple of days to put in place, but Education Minister Li Andersson (Left) confirmed at a Monday morning press conference that cabinet would be discussing the situation today.

Members of the Government and opposition spent the weekend laying the groundwork with the public for likely domestic travel restrictions – particularly in Uusimaa where there is the biggest concentration of coronavirus cases.

On Saturday, Marin said in an interview that restricting movements could be used as a next step to help control the spread of coronavirus; while Minister of Economy Katri Kulmuni (Center) said the same; and on Sunday, National Coalition Party leader Petteri Orpo indicated that his party would be prepared to support any action to close Uusimaa borders.

“We prefer to do more and faster than too little and too late” says Orpo.